Murder most Dull~ #3tc #shortfiction #mystery #themagicshop


The body of Ashley Marie Lyons was discovered in the study at around Nine PM. Jenkins, the butler had stopped in the check on her ladyship and knew right away she wasn’t sleeping. Her skin was cold to the touch and she wasn’t responding to him calling out her name. He had always been a “true-crime” buff and often had his imagination run wild with the darkest of ideas. This time, Jenkins felt that Mrs. Lyons had been the victim of foul play. Letting this thought get control him, he immediately called the police instead of an ambulance.

Chief inspector Sullivan from homicide showed up at the Lyons estate ten minutes after the first set of uniformed police had arrived. He was a twelve-year veteran on the force and had the best arrest record out of all the homicide detectives.

The Lyons estate had been passed down from generation to generation. They were one of the wealthiest families in north America and anyone who died among them always received some degree of inheritance. The current owner of the Estate was forty-three year old Archibald Lyons. It was his wife, former Vegas showgirl Ashley Marie Stark who had been found dead. The two of them had been married or less than a year and everyone who knew them suspected Ashley of being a “Goldigger”. She was known to be fast and Archibald was stuck in neutral. Clearly an example of oil and water in a marriage.

Dr. Quinlan, the medical examiner was finishing his preliminary examination of the body as Inspector Sullivan entered the Study.

“Well, Dr. Q, what have you determined so far?”

Sullivan always called him just ‘Q’ having been a fan of James Bond for many years.

“There’s no wounds to indicate murder. No stabbings, gunshots or any type of bruise from any type of blunt force”. Quinlan spoke this as started to look at Penelope’s neck.

“No strangulation. Usually there would imprints from hands about the throat or some type of noose. nothing.”

Quinlan took a step back, removed his glasses and delivered Sullivan his summation.

“A young active lady like this, unless she was poisoned couldn’t have just died like this. I’m afraid you were called for no reason, Inspector. No murder here. I’ll know more after an autopsy.”

Sullivan felt both relieved and yet bothered. He had this “feeling” about certain life circumstances and he was often right about unnatural deaths. He decided to question the husband, Archibald, in the library.

Thirty minutes later, Dr. Quinlan was getting ready to leave. He had finished whatever initial paperwork that needed to be done so the coroner’s office could soon take the deceased. He wished to say goodbye to inspector Sullivan and proceeded towards the library. Quinlan was stunned to see the good Inspector leaning against a bookcase almost passing out as Archibald was speaking to him. Quinlan rushed over to him to make sure he wasn’t going to fall and hit the marble floor.

“Sullivan! My dear boy, are you ok? Wake up! ” he said this as he started to shake his shoulder. Sullivan stood straight up rather abruptly and shook his head.

“Q? I’m fine…just interviewing Mr. Lyons here. He was just telling me some things about his life that might shed some light on this quite sad incident. But, we were just finishing up. Let’s go, it’s time to head back to the precinct”

Sullivan and Quinlan walked down the steps of the Lyon’s estate which led down to a rather long paved driveway.

“What happened back there, Sullivan?” Quinlan curiously asked as the two them walked down to there vehicles. Sullivan stopped short and looked back at the mansion. The county coroner’s office had finally arrived and two medics were taking the covered up body of Ashley Marie out to their wagon.

“Q…for thirty straight minutes, I listened to Archibald Lyons talk about his extensive knowledge of how spools of thread are made in most factories, how he preferred to play Gin Rummy with Ashley when she wanted sex and what type of glue is used on envelopes depending upon what country their made in. I’m ruling this case as involuntary manslaughter”.

Quinlan’s eyes widened with disbelief. He had known that Sullivan was pretty dead-on with his hunches but, there really was no evidence of a crime this time around.

“Sullivan..Sometimes, I wonder about you. How pray tell, is this a case of involuntary manslaughter?”

Sullivan smiled. His face about to reveal his little discovery.

“I was almost a victim myself back there. My chat with Archibald basically revealed to me that his wife, the victim Ashley Marie….simply died of boredom.”


A week later, an autopsy was performed on Ashley Marie Lyons. The autopsy had discovered that she actually had a rare undiagnosed congenital heart condition which led to her death.

However, this didn’t explain the death of Rita Marie Bindi that occurred roughly a year later again at the Lyons estate. Miss Bindi, a former exotic dancer had gotten engaged to Archibald Lyons six months after his first wife had passed. Rita’s body was found the same way as Ashley Marie. But, in this instance Archibald unfortunately got to witness his latest partner die right in front of him. He went on to explain that he was merely showing off his latest collection of imported pieces of cabinet hardware and Rita just passed away. She was wearing a black see through nightgown and looked to be about ready to have a night of romance. Cabinet hardware presumably was not her priority for that evening.


This short was inspired by the 3 things challenge words: Poison,Noose, Inheritance